Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Oh No, Not You Again

Below is more staff reaction to public comment during the Planning Commission meetings on the wetlands CAO. Several times, this blog has mentioned how public input during those meetings was deep, broad, and intelligent. Given the importance of the topic being discussed, the crowd was well behaved. They were passionate, but with near unanimity, they didn't rant; they didn't call people names; they were not disorderly. They were very honest and heartfelt, and while staff may disagree with the public's heartfelt sentiments, the mere fact that people express dissent does not make them disorderly.

At least some County staff think otherwise.  Unfortunately, they characterize the meetings as having gone poorly, and they suggest that the Common Sense Alliance (CSA) was behind it. I would venture to guess that many people who showed up at the Planning Commission meetings have probably never even heard of the Common Sense Alliance, or if they've heard of CSA, they think of it as meaning Community Supported Agriculture.

Why do planners find it so hard to comprehend that we don't want our innocuous country way of life to be planned into oblivion? Most people here don't want our community to be run like Enfield, England. It's that simple. No group is behind it.

The public who showed up at the Planning Commission meetings were not a CSA mob. They were real people, talking about issues that matter to them ... to us.

From: "Shireene Hale" <>
Date: April 19, 2012 5:24:17 PM PDT
To: "Mike Carlson" <>
Subject: RE: field trips
It sounds like we will be visiting the Power's property. Thanks for the suggestion.
As soon as Lynda completes the minutes, I can complete the review draft of the PC version. Should be done tomorrow - but it won't be finalized until Barbara and Brian approve it.
Those hearings were awful for Lynda and I, and probably for those that don't agree with the CSA perspective. I don't have any problem with civil discussion about the issues, and actually enjoy looking at things from different perspectives, and working constructively to identify solutions.  
Having people show up just to rant, call us names, and be disruptive is however getting very tiring - and I am getting tired of being blamed for the collective decisions that get incorporated into the drafts that are being considered (including the decisions of the Planning Commission, County Council, County attorneys and our consultants). I can't tell you how many discussions I have had regarding things that I didn't think made sense, didn't think would work, or just didn't support, where I was overruled. And then when the shit hits the fan, those that were involved in making the decision are pretty good at running for cover and letting me take the flack. 
O.K. enough of the rant. What I would really like is for people to understand the requirements we must meet, review and think about the proposals, and provide constructive comments in a civil manner. I would like everyone that wants to be involved to feel comfortable attending the meetings and providing input. That works better for everyone, and I think that approach significantly increases the chance that an individual's suggestions will get incorporated in some manner.  
Kind regards,

From: Mike Carlson []
Sent: Wed 4/18/2012 9:23 PM
To: Shireene Hale
Subject: RE: field trips

Thanks for considering my property for the May 7th wetland tour. The lower part of our lawn which contains our drain field, our driveway and well could actually be in a water quality buffer because it does slope toward the edge of the wetland……but maybe not.
I have asked Nick Power to use his land if you think it would be easier. His phone number is 370 5708.  I will shoot him an email too.

In the hypothetical sense the Beaverton Valley Business Park is also a very good possibility because there is a wetland and a stream draining into Beaverton Valley. They abide by buffers now and have cleared to those as allowed in the binding site plan approval.  It could be helpful to apply the new proposal to the same property as a comparison with the existing rules.

On a side note I watched some of the April 17 county council meeting as you and the council discus how to fit everything into sensible schedules that can accomplish good public participation and accurate information to the public.

While I applaud both you and the council’s desire to get information out I am disappointed that you start the discussion by saying “that by May the PC will have recuperated from the 4 awful planning commission meetings” ….Unless I misunderstood, this type of statement does not help but could be construed as disrespectful about the robust public testimony we observed. Further, I want to remind everyone that the public is extremely engaged in the CAO discussion now. Many are concerned, asking why and where specifically the existing rules are not working. There are lots of well educated folks who are reading the BAS, and the proposals and many remain perplexed.

More information from the county is good but solid basis for the implementation will be asked by the public at each turn. While this may seem annoying at times, our elected, appointed (me) and employed participants are accountable to those who live and work in this community.

I truly hope that we all remain acutely aware of this fact of life.  

Most importantly, I would like to be able to review the “post Planning Commission” version of the Wetland section before the May 7th field trips



Mike Carlson.  President/Owner
Mike Carlson Enterprises, Inc.
2165 West Valley Road.  
Friday Harbor, Washington. 98250
360-378-4579 office.      360-378-5149 fax.


  1. Professor ChaosMay 9, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    Oh no! The meetings were awful for her!! How inconsiderate of the people who got up early, took the first ferry, and stayed all day to express their opinions!! To make the person who is paid, and paid handsomely, to "plan" us into oblivion, uncomfortable is downright unforgivable. Now, those people who were concerned about their homes or livelihoods, or those experienced professionals who questioned the "science" or challenged the bad logic or doubted that we can afford to implement these plans--they were plain annoying to the civil servant. My heart bleeds.

  2. "Those hearings were awful for Lynda and me." ME. Objective case.

  3. Has anyone considered pooling our money and just offering her money to leave her position?
    I don't think it is illegal. Maybe run it by legal. As her, how much of a check do we need to write to get you to step down.

  4. Perhaps our planners have bought into Agenda 21/ICLEI

    The Agenda 21 plan openly targets private property.  For over thirty-five years the UN has made their stance very clear on the issue of individuals owning land;

    Land… cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes. The provision of decent dwellings and healthy conditions for the people can only be achieved if land is used in the interest of society as a whole.

    Now comes the great "Salish Sea Collective"!

  5. It's all part of fundamentally transforming the United States, as promised by you know who. It makes even small people with power in small communities feel so in tune with progress. What really gets me is that they won't be honest and up front about their intentions. Their facilitators from above attempt to create the illusion that this is something planned from the bottom up.

    This whole thing is like a ten million ton freight train being dropped on us from 50,000 feet and trying to stop it.

    It could be worse I guess. In some countries they would just shoot us and our families and take our land. End of problem.

    I don't think I like this "new" America. It makes me sick.